Nestlé chief Peter Brabeck-Letmathe has warned of a “significant and long-lasting” rise in food prices due to demand from India and China and the use of crops in biofuels.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the chairman and CEO of the world’s largest food company said there would be structural changes in supply and demand. Price pressure, Brabeck-Letmathe, said has become more apparent in recent months.

He told the FT that population growth, rising demand from “the phenomena of India and China” and the use of crops for biofuel would put pressure on food prices.

Yesterday, Brabeck-Letmathe was in China opening Nestlé’s latest manufacturing facility in the country.

The Swiss food giant unveiled the new plant, which is based in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and is Nestlé’s 21st in the country.

Last year, Nestlé generated CHF1.9bn (US$1.6bn) in sales across its business in China.